After two hours of grilling by the committee on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, Obaseki said he fears the influence Adams Oshiomhole, the party’s national chairman, wields on the committee.
Obaseki was first elected governor in 2016 with the full backing of Oshiomhole, his predecessor.
The two have since had a very public falling out, with Oshiomhole known to oppose Obaseki’s second term bid.
Governor Godwin Obaseki (left) is battling for a second term while at loggerheads with his former ally, Adams Oshiomhole (right), who is currently the national chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) [Facebook/Governor Godwin Obaseki]
Obaseki said on Wednesday he doesn’t believe he’ll get justice because Oshiomhole has refused to remove himself from the process.
He said, “Since he is the judge and the jury in this matter, I will just wait for the outcome of the screening.”
With the Edo governorship election scheduled for September 19, 2020, Obaseki faces an uphill battle to secure the party’s ticket.
The governor has already lost to Oshiomhole in his bid to adopt an indirect mode of election for the primaries.
The party’s national working committee, headed by Oshiomhole, adopted a direct mode which allows all party members to vote for the flag bearer, instead of elected delegates under the indirect mode.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to register Obaseki’s protests, and ratified the direct mode earlier this week.
Obaseki said on Wednesday the committee asked him about his objection to the direct election, and insinuated his protest could be seen as an anti-party activity.
“I just felt that if we put politics above the lives of the people of Edo State, that we may be missing the point,” he said.
Head of the screening committee, Jonathan Ayuba, announced that five of the total six APC aspirants were screened on Wednesday.
Obaseki, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Osaro Obaz, Pius Odubu, and Chris Ogiemwonyi were all screened by the seven-member committee, according to Ayuba.
Matthew Iduoriyekemwe, the remaining aspirant, will be screened on Thursday, June 11.
Ayuba assured aspirants that his committee would ensure transparency and provide reasons for every decision it takes.
Osagie Ize-Iyamu has been touted as Oshiomhole’s choice to be the next Edo State governor [The Bridge News NG]
Ize-Iyamu has been touted as Oshiomhole’s preferred candidate to replace Obaseki.
Last month, the APC’s NWC granted him a waiver to contest in the party’s primary election scheduled to take place on June 22.
Ize-Iyamu, contesting on the platform of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), lost to Obaseki in 2016, before he joined the APC late last year.
A total of 15 political parties will contest the Edo governorship election scheduled for September 19, 2020.